Tag Archive: channing tatum


This is the End Review

The biggest, brightest and the most prolific stars of modern comedy films play half-real/half-fictional versions of themselves for the Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen directed This is the End. The major characters here are Rogen himself, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride who all attend a party at James Franco’s house. However, during the star studded party, the apocalypse hits and these actors must find a way to survive until they are granted their passage to Heaven.

“I don’t wanna die at James Franco’s house”

The film opens with the self-deprecating humour that will soon become familiar as Seth Rogen is asked about his performances in films and begged to do the ‘annoying’ Rogen laugh. This quickly becomes a theme after the apocalypse arrives as there are many jokes thrown around about some of the casts less successful outings such as Green Hornet, Spider-Man 3 and Your Highness, while also paying tribute to higher points in their careers with the mentions of Moneyball and 127 Hours. Right from the off it becomes clear that this cast has been put together to have fun, they’re not afraid to be themselves or heap criticism on themselves: a very self aware project that reaps the benefits.

 

For the opening act the show completely belongs to one person: Michael Cera. Although he usually plays himself in pretty much every film, Cera takes a step outside of his comfort zone to actually play ‘himself’ and shines as the source of laughter. His new bum slapping, coke fuelled personality is the major highlight of This is the End and Cera really digs in and let loose. This is just one of a number of cameos: Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Emma Watson, David Krumholtz, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd and Channing Tatum (particularly surprising and hilarious) all included.

“We should make a sequel to Pineapple Express

What becomes clear is that this is not a film that is made for everyone. If you have no knowledge of Rogen’s or Franco’s career and friendship in particular, then this is not the film for you. One of the more frequent points in the film is this friendship and Franco’s love for Seth Rogen. And if you don’t like Pineapple Express (which everyone really should) then you are not going to reap the benefits of the hilarious ‘Pineapple Express 2‘ homemade sequel.

 

Every major character has their time in the spotlight, each being allowed to let loose, have fun and provide laughs. Jonah Hill, however, perhaps has the most stand out points which you can look at even out of the context of the whole film and enjoy: the Milky Bar scene, the exorcism and the incredibly camp gun scene. Everything he does is fantastic.

“Dear God, it’s me, Jonah Hill… from Moneyball

The end of the world may be a tired storyline but that only benefits This is the End. With no immediate or heavy concerns with storyline the (half-written) script is allowed to entertain on its own merits. The cast are allowed to live within themselves, push their exciting and over the top performance to the very limits all against the backdrop of destruction. There aren’t many scenes where the laughs die down and there certainly aren’t any jokes that misfire or fall flat.

 

You will either love it or hate it. This is one of those films. But if you know what’s good for you, you’ll love it.

 

My Rating: 8/10.

Don Jon Trailer

UK Release Date: 15th November 2013

Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (also directing), Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Brie Larson.

Plot: A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love.

Don Jon (previously known as Don Jon’s Addiction) marks the feature length directorial and writing debut of Hollywood nice guy Joseph Gordon-Levitt, making it one of the most exciting movies yet to come (no disgusting pun intended) this year.

Reviews from films festivals have been positive with Don Jon being cited as making Gordon-Levitt one of the hottest new directors around. He’s already proven his versatility with all his work done through hitRECordJoe and he just looks amazing in this new trailer.

The trailer provides a great introduction to the life of Jon and his less than healthy addiction and provides some really good laughs, making it a must see for any fans of comedy films with heart and all fans of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And if that’s not enough there are even cameo appearances from Anne Hathaway, Channing Tatum and Cuba Gooding Jr.

White House Down Trailer

UK Release Date: 6th September 2013

Stars: Roland Emmerich (director), Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Joey King, Jason Clarke, James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins, Lance Reddick.

Plot: While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders.

While reading about White House Down I became pretty excited about the prospect. What it seems to be is an updated version of the original Die Hard, but set in the White House, featuring one of my favourite actors at the minute who is riding a tidal wave of success, Channing Tatum. So, as I finally get round to watching the trailer, why am I left disappointed?

First of all, this is supposed to be an action film. Everyone loves action films because they don’t take themselves to seriously and that is the major problem we have here. Obviously, the terror threat for America in the last twelve years has been non-stop (and heightened in recent weeks) so maybe that is to blame for the horrible trailer which begins with news footage of the attack on the White House in the film.

But this does nothing to heighten audience interest. It bored me. I don’t want to be bored by a trailer for an ACTION film, I want action! Looking at the cast I do have high hopes for this and I am sure over the next few months we will see more of Channing Tatum taking on the bad guys but for now, don’t lose any sleep over this. NEXT!

Side Effects Review

Steven Soderbergh, director Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Thirteen (Ocean’s Twelve too but I’m trying to build him up, not condemn him) and more recently Magic Mike, has previously stated that Side Effects marks the end of his directorial career for a few years as he intends to take a sabbatical. So with Side Effects, is Soderbergh going out on a high?

It’s probably best to go into Side Effects knowing very little about it and prepare to just be taken with it. But at it’s very basic the story can be split into two parts: the first half chronicles Emily Taylor’s (Rooney Mara) battle with depression and the meetings she has with her psychiatrist before she suffers traumatic side effects of a new anti-depressant; the second half is about her psychiatrist (Jude Law) as he attempts to unravel the truth and find out who is guilty of the events caused by the drugs.

As a psychological neo-thriller Side Effects requires some top notch acting from its headline stars. And Mara and Law do not disappoint at all. All I could think while Rooney Mara was on screen was “this is the same girl from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?” because she is completely different but still puts in a wonderful performance. Based on her performances that I have seen so far she is set to become one of the best, most versatile actresses of her generation. At only 27, she has the whole world of film at her feet.
I will admit that I am guilty of absolutely lambasting Jude Law in the early years of this century, but since about 2009 my opinion of him could not have changed more. In recent years he has emerged as one of my favourite actors to watch now; his performances are consistently good and that does not change here with one of his best performances to date in Side Effects as the obsessed psychiatrist.

Side Effects really does crank up the tension and suspense in a way that Hitchcock would be proud of. The story is very well thought out and once the first twist hits the audience it’s as if you’re on a roller coaster with twists and turns coming thick and fast, you can never really be sure what it actually happening. There are a lot of clever plot points that are made and this helps to make it such a compelling watch.

Unfortunately though, the twist and turn nature also lets the film down a little. In a film such as this there always comes the inevitable point where you have to tell everything to the audience, which sort of takes away the point of making such a clever film. And in Side Effects, Emily Taylor’s narration does not make it as interesting as it should and could be. The underlying back story that is given at this point does not seem strong enough for the rest of the actions that took place.

Jude Law’s character makes some very good commentaries on the state of counseling and depression which are well worth considering, the whole cast put in very good dramatic performances and while I was in the cinema I was truly gripped. However, after leaving I felt like I was missing out, that I had been unfulfilled and underwhelmed.

Multiple viewings are prescribed.

My Rating: 7/10.

What a fantastic month for films. You’re going to have some tough decisions to make when deciding what to go see in the coming weeks!

 

Arbitrage – 1st March

Arbitrage sees a Golden Globe nominated performance from Richard Gere as a powerful magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire whilst trying to cover up a horrible accident that puts his career and life at risk. Gere is supported by a fine supporting cast including the likes of Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and Brit Marling.

 

Stoker – 1st March

Here we have a bit of a creepy looking horror/thriller film featuring Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska. Stoker is the last film to be produced by the late Tony Scott and the script was ranked number one on the list of the best unproduced scripts doing the rounds in Hollywood back in 2010. And who is the script written by? Wentworth Miller!?! Yes, Prison Break‘s very own Michael Scofield.

 

Oz: The Great and the Powerful – 8th March

Despite apparently being the third choice for the role as the title character early reports suggest that James Franco is the perfect man to lead this journey into Oz. Accompanied by three witched played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams (two very good actresses) this looks to be an epic and beautiful journey.

 

Side Effects – 8th March

There’s not a lot to say about this. It features two very successful stars at the minute in the forms of Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara accompanied by the improving-with-age Jude Law. Side Effects looks like one of the most exciting films to hit the screen so far this year.

 

Jack the Giant Slayer – 22nd March

Bryan Singer is returning to the X-Men series for the next installment but this is his latest CGI clad film based on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. This is Nicholas Hoult’s first attempt at being a leading man in a big budget Hollywood flick but whether he has what it takes or not I am unsure.

 

The Host – 29th March

We didn’t have to wait too long for a Twilight replacement to come around as Stephanie Meyer’s other novel The Host is now adapted with one of the best young actresses around, Saoirse Ronan, in the lead role. An alien invasion film with a difference.

UK Release Date: 15th March 2013

Stars: Steven Soderbergh (director), Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, David Costabile.

Plot: A woman turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety concerning her husband’s upcoming release from prison.

That synopsis doesn’t really do Side Effects any justice; from reading the plot outline Side Effects sounds like a film that could induce sleep by itself, but upon watching the trailer it becomes clear there is certainly more to it than meets the eye: a shadowy organisation creating drugs with hidden dangers, Jude Law’s murky past… “everyone knows everything” – there are bigger things happening here than just anxiety problems.

Directed by the man behind so many great films (Ocean’s Eleven, Che, Traffic, Contagion, Haywire, Magic Mike) Steven Soderbergh’s latest reunites him with one of the hottest names around at the minute: Channing Tatum. Combine that winning combination with Oscar nominated star of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara, and what you have here is a fine combination of talents. It will also be pleasing to hear the man who wrote the script, Scott Z. Burns, also wrote The Bourne Ultimatum. Between them, the cast and crew have knocked up some pretty huge hits!

So the trailer itself, how good is it? It’s good enough to make the audience ask questions and wonder what is going on, that’s for sure. However, it perhaps tries to hold a little too much back and I would have liked to have found out more about Side Effects. Saying that, it’s a good four or five months until release here in the UK and with a first trailer it’s okay to hold things back a little. I look forward to seeing more of this in the coming months.

UK Release Date: 5th April 2013.

Stars: Kimberly Peirce (director), Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde.

Plot: A sheltered high school girl unleashes her newly developed telekinetic powers after she is pushed too far by her peers.

This is the first piece of footage we have been able to see for the remake of Carrie, based on the novel by Stephen King. Horror isn’t normally my thing but if this is anything to go by then Carrie could well be something that gets me into the cinema.

Chloe Moretz is a wonderful actress and at such a young age it is obvious that she has a huge future ahead of her. In this teaser trailer we get to see her recreate a famous image from the original film.

Carrie should be in safe hands with Kimberly Peirce at the helm. She hasn’t directed much but when she has it has been terrific; Boys Don’t Cry back in 1999 and the highly under rated Stop-Loss (starring Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in 2008 being her stand out projects. She should have another hit on her hands here!

The trailer overall gives off the spooky and paranormal/supernatural vibes you must expect from Carrie and puts you amidst the destruction that has been caused in the town. In just a minute and one simple scene the teaser trailer gives plenty of reasons to be excited about this film.

UK Release Date: 11th July 2012.

Plot: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.

Magic Mike is a comedy drama which has pulled a pretty mismatched cast together to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, the man who was at the helm of the Ocean’s trilogy. In the lead role is Channing Tatum; pretty boy turned actor, supporting him is Alex Pettyfer; teenage superspy Alex Rider from Stormbreaker; the wonderful Matt Bomer; charming con artist from the brilliant television series White Collar and finally all round bad actor Matthew McConaughey.

No doubt this is probably a film for the female audience to enjoy but I think that it could turn out be a great laugh for all audiences. I think that the trailer picks up on some pretty good points (the opening scene in the trailer of the strippers arriving at the party was pretty amusing) and there is no doubt that Steven Soderbergh can inject humour into his films as he did with Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Thirteen (the less said about Ocean’s Twelve the better).

It feels as if this role will suit Channing Tatum perfectly; he used to be a model, he has a big female fan base and he showed his comedy credentials earlier this year in 21 Jump Street. He should be able to excel in the title role and I think he could have some fun with the role because I highly doubt this is going to be a film that takes itself 100% seriously.

I think its a film that could go either way but it does have a lot of positives going for it and hopefully it will be a great laugh for everyone.

Before you quickly skip straight to the answer being ‘no’ at least give it some thought.

There is a thought process that goes through many people’s heads when they see Channing Tatum; he is a former model, he made his name really in more romantically engineered films geared towards the female audience and his looks and body are used to attract said female audience members to his films. Therefore he is seen by many to be a pretty boy with no talent and just looks; a stereotypical jock in all honesty. But this is something that may be about to change in Hollywood over the next year or so.

I can’t talk about Channing Tatum without mentioning his first piece of work even though it has no bearing at all in what I am writing about but it might be good for you to know, or give you a little chuckle. But the first time Channing Tatum appeared professionally on film was in the music video for ‘She Bangs’ by Latino pop sensation Ricky Martin. Funny, no?

Anyway, I digress. Channing Tatum first got audience attention when he appeared alongside Amanda Bynes in She’s The Man, probably because of his looks. He also starred in Step Up and its sequel Step Up 2: the Streets as well as moving into a more drama based film with Battle in Seattle which received mixed reviews but showed that Tatum was more than just a pretty face.

But who cares about his early career anymore? Move forward a few years and Tatum is having a very successful time. Haywire received mainly positive reviews, The Vow, where Tatum partnered the beautiful Rachel McAdams, was a surprise box office hit to me as I don’t think it looked very good but its romantic premise and timing of release (Valentine’s week) surely gave it a hand; but it was 21 Jump Street that was Tatum’s biggest hit this year so far. The comedy film is an absolutely hilarious watch and Tatum himself puts in a very good performance. These successes make the point that Tatum does have some box office pull for both genders of the audience.

The interesting thing is that I don’t seem to be the only one that sees this happening. Channing Tatum’s next release is scheduled to be G.I. Joe: Retaliation which will see him reprise the role he played in 2009’s critical lamb to the slaughter G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, making Tatum one of the few cast members to actually reprise his role. This time he will appear alongside action stars Bruce Willis and, more importantly, Dwayne Johnson!

What an absolute star!… Oh, and Channing Tatum is there as well.

So, to the point: G.I. Joe: Retaliation saw its release delayed by a few months because of reshoots with the reason for these shoots kept tightly under wraps. Now, rumours have surfaced that Channing Tatum is the reason behind the delay because it appears as though his character was set to be killed off. Now, after Tatum’s recent successes and new pulling power they have had a rewrite and decided that he needs a bigger part in the film and may not be killed off after all. Since the first film went down so badly they will not want the same to happen here and are trying to capitalise on Tatum’s new found stardom.

Coming up Tatum has Magic Mike, a hotly anticipated stripper comedy alongside Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) and Matt Bomer (White Collar), Steven Soderbergh directed thriller The Bitter Pill and drama Foxcatcher alongside Mark Ruffalo. Tatum looks set to dip his toe in the pool of different genres and may soon be a name on all Hollywood producers’ lips if he continues to reel off the hits!

21 Jump Street Review

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Based on the television series from the eighties that made a teen idol out of Johnny Depp, 21 Jump Street is a loose sequel made for the big screen. We follow Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko, two new and hopeless police officers who end up getting sent to become part of an undercover operation. This operation includes the two officers going undercover in high school in order to find out who has been supplying a number of drugs to the students.

21 Jump Street is written by Michael Bacall, who also wrote critical success Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Oscar nominee Jonah Hill who also portrays Schmidt. Hill’s co-star is Channing Tatum and the two are supported by Ice Cube, Dave Franco and Jake Johnson among others who all make this film what it is: a brilliant piece of comedy entertainment.

The film has, what seems to be, the quickest montage series in film as it takes place just five minutes into the story, if that! Opening with a flashback gives the audience a quick and easy indication as to what the two protagonists were like in high school and their relationship there. The story moves at a pretty fast pace to get to the beef of the story, the actual undercover work. This works well as it allows for comedy moments, not focussing on too much of the drama and getting the audience right into the action.

The comedy is fantastic. Some of the jokes are immature, some of the jokes are clever and the combination of the two works perfectly. There is physical comedy and verbal comedy which make for some real laugh out loud moments. Channing Tatum, although he has his critics, is hilarious in this film and Jonah Hill is also very funny. The two have a great chemistry on screen, stemmed from their off screen friendship, and gives a real belief to their friendship.

21 Jump Street is not a film that takes itself too seriously. And in doing so allows for some fantastic moments and in jokes which refer to the television series. These range from the subtle hint to ‘reviving a programme from the 80s’ to the television show being shown in the background of the final action scene and what will make fans of the television show happiest is that the real star of the show, Johnny Depp, even has a cameo!

Overall, 21 Jump Street provides over an hour and a half’s worth of great entertainment. There isn’t a lot there to make you think but that’s not what it attempts to do. The objective is to make the audience laugh and it certainly succeeds. The ending very much leaves itself open for a sequel, which is already being talked about. If Hill and Tatum are back on board then it should be great. If you want to see a brilliant comedy film, then look no further than 21 Jump Street.

My Rating: 8/10